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Former Real Estate Investor Mark Dempsey Signs with Sylvan Learning, Bringing Leading Education Franchise Statewide Count to 59, with Opportunity to Add Locations in 66 More Territories

The leading supplemental and enrichment education franchise has continued to appeal to franchisees by providing online learning resources and in-person school support for families adapting to school systems impacted by COVID-19.

BEDFORD, Texas — Sylvan Learning, a leading provider of supplemental and enrichment education for students in grades K-12 with more than 750 points of presence worldwide, is now expanding its footprint to Bedford, Texas with the signing of Mark Demspey and his wife Jennifer who previously were commercial real estate investors. This new signing brings the leading technology and education franchise statewide count to 59, with an opportunity to add locations in 66 more territories.

Prior to buying into the Sylvan Learning franchise, Dempsey worked as an investor in commercial real estate, and throughout his career, he always knew that at some point he wanted to start his own business. Influenced by his family’s longtime connection to education, Dempsey felt that Sylvan was the best way to help students while investing in a viable business model. In 2018, Dempsey purchased his first of two Sylvan Learning centers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and this year purchased a third in Bedford. While many entrepreneurs might be deterred by the prospect of opening their own business during such uncertain times, Dempsey said that his confidence in Sylvan’s business model meant that expanding now seemed like just as good a time as any.

“My mom is a teacher and a counselor, and my grandfather was the superintendent of schools for 35 years. My wife and I are pretty passionate about education and the need to improve it in the country. Sylvan is a good way to help and connect with a lot of kids, and it's a business that will support families now and beyond COVID-19,” said Dempsey. “We’ve been able to build a platform where we have multiple centers, and we’ve hired people who can help with those centers and provide that support. The timing is not great, but it hasn’t changed our belief that Sylvan is the best platform for helping kids, and in the long term, it’s a viable business.”

For more than 40 years, Sylvan Learning has been focused on building academic confidence, igniting intellectual curiosity and inspiring a love for learning — all of which make a big impact in school and in life. Since its founding in 1979, Sylvan Learning has become the leading supplemental and enrichment education franchise in North America thanks to its mission-driven philosophy, educational technology, community-oriented approach and strong franchisee support infrastructure.

Because of its ongoing investment in technology solutions and breadth of content and delivery options provided in-center, in-home and online, Sylvan has been uniquely positioned to respond to parents’ needs in these challenging times. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sylvan Learning has worked hard to support parents. First, in March, Sylvan Learning introduced a virtual tutoring option as school districts transitioned to remote learning. The company is also continuing to utilize its proprietary software, SylvanSync™, which provides teachers and students with adaptive practice sessions. As the school year approached, the brand announced the launch of School Support, a program that provides a variety of services to help children stay on track and parents manage the complexities of this current school year.

As a result of its flexible and innovative offering, the industry-leading learning franchise is continuing to grow. Those who are interested in franchising with Sylvan Learning have the option to provide services completely virtually or offer in-person support to students during their regular virtual school days. By offering a much-needed service during COVID-19, Sylvan Learning franchisees have the opportunity to help families across America during this difficult time.

“Mark will be able to make a difference in their community by bringing Sylvan Learning to the families of Bedford,” said CEO John McAuliffe. “The Sylvan Learning system is stronger, more nimble and more united than ever. We have ramped up our already-strong training for instruction, local marketing and technology for our franchise owners and expanded our reach for families and students. There is more demand for our services than ever, and we are excited to continue partnering with qualified franchisees to bring Sylvan Learning to new areas across the country.”

To learn more about Sylvan franchise opportunities, visit


With more than 40 years of experience and more than 750 points of presence throughout North America, Sylvan Learning is the leading provider of personal learning for students in grades K-12. Sylvan is transforming how students learn, inspiring them to succeed in school and in life. Sylvan’s proven tutoring approach blends amazing teachers with SylvanSync™ technology on the iPad® for an engaging learning experience. Sylvan also leads the way with Sylvan EDGE — STEM and accelerated courses — and Sylvan Prep — college and test prep courses. Sylvan supports families through every stage of the academic journey. For more information, visit or 

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